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Insecurity Escalates In North Region As Gov’t, Military Concentrate In Anglophone Regions

Cameroon (National Times)-There has been growing insecurity in the three Northern Regions of Cameroon as both the Government and the military concentrate their strength and might in fighting an endless war in the Anglophone Regions of the country.

In recent days, the act of hostage taking which was reported in the Adamawa Region has also moved to the North Region which was hitherto a safe heaven.

According to the French tabloid, l’oeil du sahel, the phenomenon is fast growing to the extent that the Lamido of Garoua is accusing the local population for collaborating with these hostage takers who demand heavy sums of money after carting away with their victims to unknown destinations.

This rise in hostage taking in the North Region follows that of the Adamawa which went through much of last year unabated ensuring that villages lost FCFA billions in the form of ransoms to the hostage takers.

It was only in early February 2019 that Paul Biya decided to send about 130 elements of the special multipurpose unit of the National Gendarmerie to fight these hostage takers.

As they moved to the Adamawa Region, the hostage takers have now carried their activities to the North Region.

Moreover, Boko Haram has stepped up its game with almost daily attacks in the Far North Region. With sophisticated weapons including drones acquired by the group, it is now capable of monitoring even the activities of civilians and security officers.

The attacks have increased both in Cameroon and Nigeria where the group is firmly planted.

According to some international organisations working with refugees in the Far North, between January and February about 35,000 refugees were created following incessant attacks by members of Boko Haram in Rann, Borno State in North Eastern Nigeria.

These areas where secured by the multi-national joint task force, which moved in after the January 14 attacks. But according to refugees most of these soldiers including the contingent from Cameroon abandoned the area which led to more attacks at the end of January.

According to the Government of the United States which recently sanctioned Cameroon by withdrawing some essential military assistance, most of the military assistance given to Cameroon in recent times for the fight against Boko Haram in the North has been diverted to the fight Ambazonia militants.

The Government of the United States further accused Cameroon of committing gross human rights abuses using these weapons and skills in the two Anglophone Regions.

According to Chris Roberts, a Political Science Lecturer at the University of Calgary in Canada, who specialises in African politics, defence and security, some of the weapons destined to fight in the North have found themselves in the Anglophone Regions.

He added that even the elite wing of the Cameroon Army-the BIR trained and equipped by the United States and Israel have also been concentrating on the Anglophone Regions rather than the North against Boko Haram.

In the Anglophone Regions today, it is very normal to see military hardware like armoured personnel carriers parading the streets. All Government officials including Divisional Officers, Governors and visiting Ministers displaced themselves only in such vehicles. Their availability down South may be an indication that they are being withdrawn from elsewhere.

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©THE NATIONAL TIMES NEWS (2018)